Monday, April 22, 2013

"Why Is There Never Any Deodorant In My Purse?" And Other Burning Questions...

Happy Monday to you Bloggies!

I hope this rainy (here in Saint Augustine) morning finds you well, and that your weekend was filled with all kinds of fun and not-at-all embarrassing stories. I know mine was. AAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA. That is not at all true. My weekend was filled, like much (ok, all) of my life, with tons of embarrassment. Let's review, shall we?

So, you may or may not know that as of last year I am a freelance writer/editor. Since I am just starting out on what is sure to be a long and rewarding career filled with documenting and compiling tomes of information on all kinds of important people and events, let me disabuse you of the idea of the inherent "glamour" that most people think automatically permeates your life once someone decides to publish your work. If a career in writing is Mt. Everest, this girl is barely scratching at the small rocks at the very bottom of base camp one. But that is ok! Because this is what my esteemed life partner, Brian, calls "sweat equity."

Anywho, as a freelance writer, I do get the luxury of choosing for whom I write. However, I also have the distinct pleasure of constantly being "on" when I am around potential clients, i.e. anyone/everyone who so much as breathes in my direction and may/may not possibly hold the key to me breaking into their magazine/newspaper/website/personal journal only read by their Mother. And, this week, I got to test those skills. My hometown of Jacksonville, Florida hosted an event called "OneSpark" which was basically a huge crowd-sourcing event in the heart of downtown where artists, musicians, inventors, authors, etc. all gathered in the hopes of garnering enough votes to grab themselves a piece of the money pie. So, on Thursday, Brian and I took ourselves down to Jax and checked it out.

IT.WAS.AMAZING. The event, that is. But what was even more amazing was what happened AFTER the event. As Brian and I boarded the small tram that runs around the downtown area of Jacksonville, my spouse started kicking me in what I imagine he thought to be a subtle way, while simultaneously striking up a conversation with a man standing opposite us (as he does, because it is Brian's life philosophy that strangers are just friends you haven't met yet). So, Brian and this man get to talking, and words are exchanged about their pens, riding the tram, and then....OneSpark.

The man is writing about OneSpark. The man is the editor of a local newspaper, for which he is writing about OneSpark. And then it happened. I stuck my hand out, and said my name, and told the man I am a writer. He asked if I am freelance. I said "yes." He lit up like a Christmas tree and handed me his card. I asked if he wanted my writing samples, he said "yes." He walked off the train. I pinched myself.

As soon as the man was gone, I turned to Brian and we had the following conversation:

Me: So, how would you say I handled that?

Brian: Like a teenager backstage at a Justin Bieber concert.

Me: **thinking**...Ok, so not as bad as I thought.

1. I am incapable of being calm and collected in pretty much any situation, but especially one in which I am discussing writing. CAN'T.DO.IT. Because I love writing, and I love when other people love writing, and I love when I get to talk to other people who love writing about how much we both love writing and the possibilities of writing. Writing. It's where it's at.

2. I like to think that my enthusiasm (read, crazy eyes) is one of my most charming qualities. I am almost certain that the opportunity to meet someone in the newspaper/magazine industry will never lose its sparkle for me. I love what I do, and there's just no hiding it. And I get really excited (read, shaky with uncontrollable bouts of sweating) when I make that connection with others in my industry.

3. It is my belief that writers, in general, are all slightly socially awkward. We spend a lot of time in our own heads, putting words together, forming ideas, brainstorming, conceptualizing, whatever you want to call it. Our ideas are born of our experience, and those ideas are molded first in our brains, which is unfortunately not always a public space. Therefore, it is my theory that it takes time and much concerted effort to not look/act like a teenager backstage at a Just Bieber concert when we meet someone that not only possibly holds the key to another door of our career, but for whom we also hold a great amount of respect just by virtue of the fact that they are living our dream job every day.

So, now the man has my writing samples. Who knows if anything will come of it. I'm just really, really happy I got the chance. And that I did not yell at Brian for kicking me. I have learned that he only does it when trying to get my attention, and it's his way of saying, "Please do not say anything about your profuse sweating right now because I am attempting to introduce you to someone."

Is it just me, Bloggies? Do you get nervous or really excited when you meet others in your industry? Does that go away with time?

**side note** Lots of talk of sweating in this post. Am I right? Of course I am, it's my blog. Maybe it is because it is officially "Spring" and in Florida that means "Varying Degrees of Surface of the Sun."


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